Monthly Archives: January 2014

A Kosovar’s Selfie with Angela Merkel becomes the photo of the year in Switzerland’s “20 Minutes”

Rafael Lluka might have not been a public figure, however, a picture he took alongside the German Prime Minister Mrs. Merkel might have changed his social status, only if for a day.

While the picture has definitely sparked a great deal of attention, the story behind it is as coincidental and simple as it can be. Originally from Switzerland, Lluka happened to be attending a school excursion in Berlin, where the German Bundestag is located. Mr Lluka had decided to curiously examine the presence of many reporters thus “accidentally” finding himself at the right moment and the right place where Mrs. Merkel had happened to be getting out of her vehicle thus coming into contact with Mr. Lluka. As a youngster and opportunist, Rafael had politely asked Mr. Merkel for a “selfie” with his phone, thus snapping the “Most voted picture for 2013” in Switzerlands “20 Minutes”.

The annual selection process is done in such a manner where readers of the “20 Minutes” are encouraged to post a picture and then urge other readers to vote.This year, there have been 12 competitors, within 5000 voters, Rafael managed to gain the vote from 1250 thus making his picture the best of 2013.

The original article was posted at Click here to read the original article.

Etrit Berisha and his Serie A Debut

The Albanian National Team goalkeeper, Etrit Berisha, had his Serie A debut for S.S. Lazio in Rome, in a match against F.C. Internazionale Milano. Lazio’s new coach, Edoardo Reja, placed the Kosovar-born player in his group of eleven starters. Berisha kept a clean slate throughout the game, and performed outstandingly. Coach Reja also included Albanian players Lorik Cana and young goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha in his squad, but they remained on the bench throughout the game. S.S. Lazio clinched a victory in the match with a score of 1-0, after a late goal from German player Miroslav Klose.

The team victory allowed S.S. Lazio to collect 3 points and climb two places in the Serie A table. The team’s next match will be against Bologna F.C. If Lazio’s first goalkeeper, Frederico Marchetti, is unable to play, perhaps Berisha will be given another shot.

Berisha, at 24 years old, has played in Lazio’s jersey three times. All three were in the Europa League, where he made his debut in early November 2013, in the 2-1 win against Apollon.

The Last of the “Shoe-shiners”, Hysen Hasani to be Immortalized in the Streets of Sarajevo

Sarajevan’s today bring flowers to the spot (Tito’s street) where the city’s last shoeshiner used to exercise his art. Hysen Hasani or better known as “Uncle Miso” left Ferizaj, Kosovo in 1946 together with his parents and today he is immortalized in the streets of Sarajevo for the work he has done. 

Hysen Hasani, had died of a heart attack at the age of 83, however to the people of Sarajevo, it seems that his presence will be ever lasting. There were a pair of shoes set ,as if waiting to be polished, in front of the chair, the spot where people paid their last tribute to the last shoe shiner. People placed flowers and lit candles, many of them stopped and said a prayer in his remembrance.

Born in Ferizaj, Hysen Hasani and his parents had arrived in Sarajevo in 1946, at that time a teenager, he had quickly inherited the skills and art of the profession from his father. People remember Mr. Hasani , known as Miso, as a gentle man, dedicated to his work. Even during the 90’s war and siege of Sarajevo, Miso offered his service while carefully dodging flying bullets.

A petition has begun with a noble cause of raising a statue in remembrance of Miso. The petition had a quick jump-start of 5000 signatures on the first day!

The original article was posted at Click here to read the original article.

Dutch radio meets with Xherdan Shaqiri

The main news radio station of The Netherlands met last Friday with Xherdan Shaqiri. Not in person, but by listening to a Swiss commentator going crazy about a hat-trick of the Kosovar football player.

Knowing the fact that Kosovar players are not that famous in Holland, because none of them is playing in the country. The interview with a correspondent in Kosovo gave the audience a chance to better understand the reality of Kosovar football players around the world.

After introducing the interview – with a correspondent in Kosovo – about the Kosovar national team, the radio station listened (after 19 seconds) to the Swiss commentator. Also a goal of Norwegian Kosovar Valon Berisha was broadcasted (03:23 minute).

Click here to view the full interview on Radio 1 The Netherlands.

Vesel Demaku, the Kosovo Albanian David Luiz

Austrian Born Vesel Demaku is a player with a bright future ahead of him. The 13 year old currently plays for Rapid Wien’s U14 team, together with Albanian teammates Arian Hajdari and Arbnor Prenqi.

An up-and-coming midfielder, Demaku is happy with Rapid Wien at the moment. His father noted in an interview with that other teams have shown an interest in his son, but Demaku is too young to switch yet. As he develops, his father is convinced that he will head for a bigger team.

Rapid Wien is one of the most famous clubs in Austria. Both Atdhe Nuhiu and Hamdi Salihi used to play for its senior team, and now Eldis Bajrami is on Rapid’s reserve team.

Despite being a fan of Real Madrid and a follower of Cristiano Ronaldo, Demaku is already being called the Kosovar-Albanian David Luiz, of the English team Chelsea FC.

Albana Shabani gets 3rd place at Miss South-Germany!

Ever since she was little, Albana was fascinated with fashion and beauty pageants. In September 2013, she participated in “Miss Schwarzwald” (South Germany) and received third place. 

Shabani has learned that beauty pageants are not all about a beautiful shell; attitude is very important. Smiling and enjoying oneself during the show makes a big difference. The judges notice if a girl puts herself under a lot of pressure. Because of this, Shabani decided against this. She lives like any other girl, without dieting and excessive exercise. She loves candy too much to stop eating it.

When asked about how much time she spends to get ready, Shabani doesn’t have a concrete time. She elegantly diverts the topic by smilingly saying that there are more important things to do, such as school for instance. In high school she focused on business administration but enjoys languages as well. Recently, she started to learn Spanish; despite that Albana speaks German, Albanian, French and English.

When asked about her future, Albana answers that an integrated degree program in the field of international business and marketing are her next goal. Traveling and seeing different places in the world is another dream that she plans to set forth with soon.

Ylli Sallahi to follow Shaqiri’s footsteps

Bayern Munich will soon have its second Kosovar among its players, thus giving Shaqiri the chance to practice his mother tongue with a team member. Ylli Sallahi was given the chance to show his qualities at a game recently against Al Merrikh, Sudan’s top team. Playing as a midfielder, alongside Ribery, Sallahi showed excellent skills and potential.

“The rising star was also given a secure place within the European Champions League. As an offensive player, he brings strength on the team, with a strong left foot and powerful distance shots, Sallahi appears to be unstoppable. When he shoots, the goal is hit with a rocket. “- claims Mr. Zurman.

The original article was posted at Click here to read the original article.

First all inclusive Diaspora Registry, ready for use!

Kosovo’s Diaspora Minister Mr. Ibrahim Makolli is eager to see that by the end of September, Kosovo shall have a clear image on the Diaspora members abroad. Within the upcoming days, the Kosovo government shall open its registries online that will in turn make it possible for the diaspora members to apply and fill in the necessary information.

The actual database registry has been ready for use for a month now, however, it was intended that first it goes through preliminary testing stages before it was given to the public. Mr. Makolli explains that this shall be a state of the art system, with legislative protection of sensitive user data.

“We are at the testing stage with the system, it is foreseen to be ready for use by Monday. The system shall work in a secure basis and users should not fear that their privacy is infringed, the database with user sensitive data is secure and protected by the law” claimed Mr. Makolli.

The forms, based on the Ministry of Diaspora, could be found at all the Kosovan embassies and consulates, at all the Kosovan municipalities as well as all the traveling points such as the “Adem Jashari” airport and the Ministry of Diaspora.

“The data collection is intended to be done in three general stages. Initially the forms were distributed throughout the border checkpoints since there was an influx of diaspora community throughout the year end celebrations. Following shall be the distribution of forms and applications at the embassies and consulates, as well as electronic sites,whereas the third stage will begin in the summer” explained Mr. Makolli. Thus it is expected that by autumn, if the process goes well, the Ministry shall have a better image of diaspora statistics.

The database will have a multitude of benefits. Starting from easing administrative procedures, concerning personal documents, assistance with business matters as well as miscellaneous diaspora matters.

For further information upon the procedures, the diaspora community could visit the following page :

The said project, has been initiated by the Kosovo Government on 24th of last years April, as a Concept Document. Based on it, the diaspora registry shall include information regarding : the number, age, gender,profession, economic and intellectual capacity, their level of organisation.

Having an accurate picture on the diaspora members and their numbers is crucial on understanding the development and economic trends on Kosovo itself. While the latest census brings dilemmas upon the population variation from the previous 81′ and 91 censuses, it is without doubt that the Diaspora is a strong contributor to the Kosovo society, demographic wise as well as economically.

The original article was posted at Click here to read the original article.

Joint team from diaspora and Kosovo launches data gathering platform iziSurvey

Have you ever wished for an easy and practical method to gather data? iziSurvey is the answer for those looking to collect data for surveys and market research as well as present the findings in an attractive and user-friendly way.  iziSurvey is an innovative software platform that offers the ability to easily create custom surveys with powerful features.  It was developed by former political science instructor professor Ridvan Peshkopia and former computer science professor Mergim Cahani, who met while they were teaching at Universum College in Kosovo.  Alejtin Berisha, College’s CEO and Edi Demaj, an entrepreneur from Detriot, Michigan are also part of the team.

The developers initially let several major companies and universities test the early version of iziSurvey, which received enormous positive feedback. This spurred them to seek the commercialization of the new promising product. As explained in a recent press release published on Yahoo! Finance, iziSurvey allows users to design their own surveys by using various question types and upload the data from mobile devices to the website, export them to Microsoft Excel format, or view visual analytics. Two additional features include the offline option of using the product as well as the random digit dialing (RRD) technology for cell phone surveying, which enables researches to fill the questionnaire on the same device from where the interviewer is calling with the help of a headset.

Kosovo Diaspora talked to iziSurvey CEO Mergim Cahani, who is optimistic about the potential of this service to revolutionize data gathering. In addition to the education and academic fields (professors, students, higher education administrators), iziSurvery is targeting marketing and research departments of various industries. Furthermore, “retail stores (restaurants, clothing, electronics, etc) are our target, where their customers can use iziSurvey to provide customer satisfaction feedback. iziSurvey could be used in a standalone mode (e.g., kiosk) at the door of a retail store,” said Cahani.

Cahani praised the environment in Kosovo, which is conducive for developing new products. He highlighted two advantages: the availability of talented and ambitious human capital and a pro-growth financial environment in terms of operations (cost and taxes). Although challenging, one can foster new ideas remotely even if parts of the team are in Kosovo and abroad.

When asked about ways to promote and utilize the IT/development skills of the young people in Kosovo, Cahani said:

“I think promoting higher education in Computer Science with a mixture of subjects with soft skills plays a key role. It seems that a substantial part of the young people in this field, focus on online MOOC courses, which is a great resource (I use them myself), but at times the passion to learn quickly and jump onto development, causes them miss the crucial parts of this field and ignore courses that so-may-seem do not provide immediate results. As such, often young technologists miss out on important subjects, during the self-learning process, like various mathematical subjects, discrete structures, and algorithms. Building new things takes time, persistence, and perseverance. Sometimes even after doing all of that, it may still fail. Refusing to give up is the path to success.”

We wish the team a successful launch of iziSurvey and a rapid embrace of this innovative product by professionals across different industries.